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Congress Might Have Downplayed Netaji Because of Jealousy, Says Daughter Anita Bose

Anita Bose Pfaff is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s daughter, (PTI/File)

Anita Bose Pfaff is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s daughter, (PTI/File)

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter Anita Bose said she doesn't believe Netaji was 'Gumnami Baba', said: 'I believe he died after the plane crash.'

Ahead of the highly-anticipated unveiling of a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, many have revisited questions regarding how the Indian government treated the iconic freedom fighter after Independence. Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose in an exclusive interview to News18 on Saturday stated that it is the Congress point of view on Netaji that gave him the title of “Forgotten Hero”.

“Part of the Congress leadership might have been jealous of Netaji, which is why he was downplayed. It’s was not god’s idea to do so… lower leaders used to do this to please their seniors,” she said, citing an example from the Narasimha Rao-led government.

“When Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister, the Indian Ambassador to Germany had told Germans that contact with Netaji’s kin would have to first get clearance from the Indian Prime Minister. After Rao was asked about this, he was astonished by the query and said they could obviously contact,” she said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday, ahead of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary, that a grand statue of the iconic freedom fighter will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of India’s “indebtedness” to him.

Anita Bose, who welcomed the move yesterday, reiterated that she was happy with the Centre’s decision regarding the statue. “Having the statue is very touching. There are many statues, but to have one at India Gate, close to the Parliament House, is a great honour. I’m looking forward to seeing that.”

Bose laid stress on Congress “maintaining distance from Netaji” and dismissed the popular theory of ‘Gumnami Baba’ actually being Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in hiding. “Gumnami baba cannot be Netaji,” she said. “It’s insulting to Netaji and I feel annoyed with this. He died after the crash and that has evidence. Netaji would not live behind curtains.”

Netaji used to say, “One individual may die for an idea, but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives.” Anita too, believes that her father will be well remembered if his ideology is followed.

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first published:January 22, 2022, 20:09 IST